Posted on 8 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Saiunkoku Monogatari


I can sort-of understand why people often are reluctant to check out very lengthy series. After all, they’re a huge commitment and it’s very hard to tell whether it will turn out worthwhile or not if you have to sit through more than sixty episodes. Series like Naruto, Bleach, Dragon Ball Z and Inuyasha went on and on, amidst pointless fillers, and just could have gotten so much better if they were just 1/4th of their original length.

Still, let me say that for every lengthy series that screws up, you can always find a lengthy series that’s absolutely worth the commitment. Take Legend of Galactic Heroes, Gintama, or any of the World Masterpiece series. And of course Saiunkoku Monogatari. It’s set in a world, reminiscent of ancient China, and follows Shuurei, as she tries to be the first female govermnent official, in a male-dominated society.

Of course, there’s much more to the story than just that. The series starts out as an innocent shoujo love-drama, but soon enough this series shows its josei-roots and develops its huge cast of characters perfectly. Be sure to expect lots of politics. The different arcs are very different from each other, and they’re more than enough to keep this series interesting though its entire run. And of course, there’s quite a bit of romance as well, but don’t expect standard Shoujo-romance here. Quite often, you see two characters who are in love with each other, yet can never be together due to their social status, or the things they did in the past.

I do want to note, though, that some parts of this series are less interesting than others. Saiunkoku Monogatari has a couple of incredibly deep and well-developed characters, but it needs to build up a lot in order to achieve this. There will be a few arcs that aren’t that special, other than that they build up for some amazing scenes, later on in the series. It’s also a shame that the final quarter of the series builds up to a third season that’ll probably arrive in two or three years. The final few episodes also showcase some dramatic budget-problems, with three recap-episodes within twenty episodes, so that’s also something to take into account.

Still, despite the flaws, Saiunkoku remains a versatile and engaging series. If you liked The Twelve Kingdoms (I haven’t seen the series myself, but I hear from everywhere that that’s another excellent series), you’ll definitely like this series. Now all that’s left is to wait a few years for the third season to arrive!

Posted on with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


What a wonderful episode to close off the second series! This was hands down, the best episode ever since Shuurei got back from the Sa-clan. Thank you, Madhouse, for not leaving a bad taste at the end, while we have to wait who knows how many years for season three. The end of the episode closed off quite a few storylines, and yet it hinted that there’s still so much more to come. I really hope that the creators will realize this, and haven’t planned to end this series here.

But still, finally this series is over. For the past two years, it’s been my top-source of google-hits and out of all the series I’ve blogged, Saiunkoku Monogatari has received by far the most page-views, even comparing this to Death Note and Claymore. No other series also has as many posts as this one, although I guess that Jigoku Shoujo and Higurashi will come quite close when their third season finishes. Really, it’s sad to see this series gone now. I’ll put it on finished for now, until we get some real confirmations that a third season is under production.

It was also a delight to see Kouyuu and Shuuei back together. The two of them form such a great team with their banter. Suou also seems to have moved his family to the countryside, while he carries out some kind of mission for Kouki. We also learn that Anju is none other than Kouki’s ally. But the best part of the episode was of course seeing Ryuuki and Shuurei back together. It draws quite a parallel with episode 39 of the first season, which also ended with a similar series, but this time, Ryuuki’s development made that scene so different. Back then, he was just a weak little coward, screaming for Shuurei’s affection, but now he really seems to have accepted his task as an emperor. He’s now not just trying to become a good emperor because of Shuurei, and that’s what he realized when he was in the Ran-province.

Now, if you excuse me, I have to go write a review that does this series justice. ^^;

Posted on 1 March 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


I’m not exactly sure why… this episode was a clear aftermath and yet I found it was one of the most enjoyable ones of the third arc so far. I originally thought that seeing Shuuei and Ryuuki develop would be the best thing about the final episodes of the second season, but seeing them actually use this development turned out much more interesting.

Overall, the Kouki-arc just didn’t match up to the Government-Official-arc and the Sa-Province-arc, but that’s only logical. I now see that this arc is far from over, and all that the episodes have been doing is building up. Even the past few mini-arcs were just meant to develop the cast, and to make them ready for the real meat of this arc. It’s just like the Sa-province arc. The first twenty-or-so episodes also were a bit disappointing at times, and Sakujun took a lot of episodes to become likable, but the second half of that arc, with the disease and all simply rocked.

I really hope that Madhouse will continue next year with the third season for Saiunkoku Monogatari. There are just too many interesting plot-points unresolved to not let it happen: there’s Ouki, who’ll be trying more and more to take over the throne, which will bring Kouki, Seiga, Shuurei and Suou more to the foreground as they will definitely be asked to investigate and prevent this takeover. Then there’s the Bara-hime storyline with the big Riou and of course the big mystery about Sakujun’s whereabouts. Furthermore, we still haven’t seen anything of the plans to marry Kouyuu out to Shuurei. Then there’s also Seiga, who majorly lacks in development, considering how important his character is. Overall, that’s more than enough to fill a third season and close this story off properly. Please, Madhouse, don’t abandon this series just yet!

On other news, I was pretty surprised that Shouka didn’t prepare any explanation whatsoever to Shuurei about what the heck he was doing when Ryuuki wandered off on his own. I doubt that he would never make such a mistake to anyone other than Shuurei and Bara-hime. I think that that’s one of the reasons why he originally fell in love with Bara-hime. Somehow, he just couldn’t get his assassin-act together in front of her. ^^;

Posted on 23 February 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


Now this is what I’ve been hoping for! This episode was terrific in terms of storyline. So many things happened at once, and finally the building-up of the previous half year is paying ff. But still, it’s so sad to see that the budget-problems become more and more apparent. Such a major episode should be paired with terrific animation, like what we saw around the climax of the first half of the second season. Instead, the creators treated us to lots of distance-shots, thick lines and still frames. I really don’t like the trend that MadHouse has been setting to screw up their adaptations as they draw near their end! I mean, they’ve got excellent staff, but I’m getting more and more the feeling that it’s their producers who are incredibly lazy.

Well, putting that aside, another reason why I loved this episode was because it again was quite easy to understand. The ship with Ensei, Suou, Shurei and Ryuuren crashes off a waterfall. As everyone becomes conscious again, Ryuuren goes off to find some springs for water, after which Shun comes to pick up Shuurei, by the orders of his master. His orders were to take just Shuurei away, so Ensei and Suou stay behind and collect supplies for the way back.

As Shuurei and Shun walk up the mountain to the castle, Shuurei asks whether he’s heard about Shiba Jin, though Shun says that she had the wrong person. The two then enter the castle, and Shun brings Shurei to the prison cell where Ryuuki lies. Shuurei is really glad to see that he’s fine, though before she has the time to call out to him, Shusui appears, using the same spell that failed, twenty episodes ago. Shuurei then falls unconscious and gets taken away.

We then switch to Ryuuki, who’s finally woken up. Right next to him stands a Shusui, who claims that she’s possessed by a member of the Hyou-clan, which is why she’s acting so weird. I guess she was an easy target for them, because she already lost herself before. In any case, Shusui begins to taunt Ryuuki at how he’s incompetent at his job, and how he should just give up. After this, Ryuki begins to develop even more. That night on the mountains has really convinced him what an idiot he’s been, and he’s determined to now become a real king.

Then, Ran appears. It indeed seems that he’s been following Ryuuki all along, and after hearingt his confession, he decides to step in and save Ryuuki from Shushui. After this, the Hyou-member orders Shun to take care of Ryuuki, leaving the body afterwards. Shusui then turns into her fighter-mode again and starts chasing after Shuuei. Juusanhime also arrives to stop her, after which quite a funny conversation follows, where Shuuei ends up using a dirty trick to remind Shusui of Shouka. After a few slaps from Shuuei, Shusui returns to normal.

Juusanhime then stays to fight Shun, while Shuuei, Ryuuki and Shusui escape. When they are out of the castle, Shusui goes back in to save Shuurei. Shuuei then brings Ryuuki back to Suou, and goes back along with Ryuren to save Shuurei. Ensei went ahead of them, as he seemed to have the same idea. As Ryuuki wakes up, he wants to go back to save Shuurei, though Suou stops him. After all, he’s the king and everyone just went through the trouble of saving him. After hearing this, he finally understands a new part of his responsibilities.

Meanwhile, back in the castle Shuurei is still unconscious. The member of the Ryou-clan seems to be called Ruka, and it was basically her plan to use Ryuuki to lure the Bara-hime in Shuurei towards her. It’s here where Shouka in scary-mode appears again, and breaks some kind of mirror that’s important for Ruka. Strangely enough, Ruka doesn’t seem to be shocked by this, so at least something must have gone according to her plan. In another part of the Castle, Juusanhime now gets the chance to finally say goodbye to Shiba Jin, as it really seems that he works for the enemy and he’s out to kill Ryuuki. That scene seriously rocked.

There’s one thing I don’t understand, though: what’s the real relationship between Shun and Shusui? Where did they meet each other? Is Shun the reason Shusui gets possessed? Which Shusui went along with Shun to the castle? Did she come on her own accord, or was she already possessed by Ruka back then?

In any case, let’s hope that the final two episodes end the second season with a bang, so that the creators can return in a year or two to finish this story. With such a fan-base, there’s a good chance that it’ll happen some day. But then again, Claymore was even more popular, needed a second season even more badly and there are still no signs of any continuation… which leaves me kind-of worried.

Posted on 16 February 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


There are three episodes left. Then, what the heck is a recap-episode doing here? This shows more and more that the creators just need to take a break for a year, and get their budgets and planning fully sorted out, because right now it seems that they just can’t keep up with their own schedule. Unfortunately, the planning-department of Madhouse just isn’t as good as that of for example Nippon Animation, which basically showcased Les Miserables without any break or recap at all, and looks to do the same for Porfy no Nagai Tabi.

The only new scenes are of Ryuuki, developing and reflecting on his own actions. Thankfully, this made the episode not a total waste of time, but this remains lazy on the creator’s side. Thankfully, the development that Ryuuki went through was very good, and the episode prepared really well for the final three episodes.

My main worry is that Madhouse has become infamous for screwing up slightly with their adaptations. For most part, they adapt faithfully, but when it comes to the details, you can always see cut corners. This isn’t like Gonzo, where they basically rewrite more than half of the original source-material; with Madhouse, the changes just feel lazy. Just a few examples:
– Shigurui: Entire final chapters left unanimated, with no intention to do so either.
– Devil May Cry: turned into random plotless fillers.
– Claymore: went with an original story after episode 21 and changed from an engaging plot to a cheesy final battle.
– Death Note: a rushed second half with many pages omitted.
– Gunslinger Girl: no intentions to animate the plot-heavy second half of the manga, so they went with their own ending.
– Pet Shop of Horrors: Just four chapters animated, no information on main character whatsoever.

I think you can understand my worries. Right now, Saiunkoku Monogatari really needs a second season, but I can’t help but fear that Madhouse will screw up with the little details again, and it’s such a pity to see this happen, right when we’re about to hit such an rumoured excellent part of the original novels.

Posted on 9 February 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


There are just two things I don’t like about Saiunkoku Monogatari: the fact that the slow subs have forced me to watch it raw, meaning that I don’t understand half of most of the episodes without Impz’s help, and all these random hiatuses it’s been having. For the past few months, I realized that it’s really important for this series to continue on a weekly basis, otherwise it loses me a bit in the middle of the action. Thankfully, it seems that the final episodes of the second season won’t have anymore random hiatuses like that, so that eliminates the second point for now. ^^;

And really, Ryuuki stole the show this episode! Finally, he’s actually starting to develop, along with Juusanhime. His sadness on the boat towards Shuuei really surprised me, and it seems that he’s really regretting how he ran away from all of his responsibilities, yet again. There’s even a possibility that he won’t be able to return as the king, which is especially unnerving, considering that a few episodes back, we saw that one of these guys had plans to take over Ryuuki’s throne.

In her turn, Juusanhime finally reveals her history with Shiba Jin. It seems that at one point, her mother died (of which circumstances, I don’t know, though; I’m not even sure whether that was revealed). Shiba Jin was then sent to kill her off too, but he couldn’t. Eventually, after three days if I picked this up correctly, Shiba Jin ended up cutting out his own eye and went along with her to the main house of the Ran Clan, and ever since the two had been in love. The two of them spent most of their childhood years together, along with Shuuei, but at one point Jin killed his own father. I’m not sure why, but if I had to guess, then it’d be because he tried to do something against Juusanhime. Probably to finish the task that Jin never could complete.

Posted on 2 February 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


Haha! This has to be the most comprehensible Saiunkoku Monogatari-episode I’ve seen in months. Finally I can understand things again without the help of Impz’s summaries. ^^; Sure, there were a few things that I didn’t pick up, but I’m glad enough that at least this episode didn’t feel like a giant Rubik’s Cube.

The episode starts after what happened at the end of the last episode, and Ensei cheers Shuurei up a bit. He then also agrees to go along with her to the Ran-clan. Ensei also notices that Shuurei hasn’t been sleeping well, so he forces her to go to sleep, while Seiran notices this and threatens to kill the guy. After this, Seiran asks Ensei to make sure that Shuurei returns safely from the Ran-clan.

We then switch to Shouka, Juusanhime and Ryuuki, leaving the capital, with Seiran and Yuushun seeing them off. The next scene is between Shuurei and Ki Kouki, who asks Shuurei that now that she’s going to the Ran-province anyway, that she should investigate a guy named “Shiba Jin”, and I think that Shuurei knows fully well what this means if she goes in too deep, and Juusanhime’s lover might get arrested if she does her job of investigating too well. He also orders her to bring back a few souvenirs, and to not go after Ryuuki if he decides to agree with his engagement with Juusanhime. When Shuurei runs off, she passes Seiga, and the guy has a really suspicious grin on his face while she passes him.

Next up, we see Ensei, Shuurei and Suou in a carriage, heading to the port. They then get surprised by an overly worried father of Suou, who underwent a total change of characters since we saw him first. It seems that he’s really proud of his son now, and he’s still thankful to Shuurei on how sh got him out of prison, it seems. At least, I think that Shuurei was the one who did that, I could be wrong. In any case, he entrusts Suou to Shuurei for the trip. ^^;

The next scene shows Shun and Shusui, as they too seem to be heading for the Ran-province. Shusui isn’t doing well, though, and she struggles to go up the mountains. For some reason, Shun also puts up an eye-patch, to cover for the eye he’s missing. Shusui then mentions a number of strange characters, though that story is one I couldn’t pick up. What’s important, though, is that at one point, she gets possessed again by that strange thing that got hold of her a few episodes back. She calls this thing “Ruka-sama”.

Shuuei has meanwhile finally arrived at the Ran-palace. His triplet-brothers aren’t there, but his brother Ryuuren and his sister Gyoku (I think that’s how she was called) are present. Ryuuren takes off into the woods again, and Shuuei gets to reuinite with his sister. The thing is that he wasn’t really keen on that, and for some reason he was reluctant to meet her. I didn’t pick up exactly why, as she seemed like a really nice person (they even played together when they were kids), though if I had to guess then he did some thing to hurt her in the past. I didn’t pick up what exactly that was, though. Also, Setsuna, is that the name of one of Shuuei’s triplet-brothers, or is that yet another of his brothers?

The episode ends with the ship on which Shuurei, Suou and Ensei are sailing in order to get to the Ran-province. Suou gets seasick, and Ensei’s remedy is basically to knock the guy out so that he’s unconscious during the trip. ^^; The ship then gets struck by a whirlpool that the area is famous for. According to a local legend, one person once threw a manju in the whirlpools and they disappeared. For some reason, Shuurei thinks that this legend is important somehow.

On a side-note, those whirlpools were really badly animated, but then again, this is Madhouse. Their animation is either incredibly good or incredibly bad, and you can really see in this episode that it was meant to save a bit of animation-budget.

Posted on 26 January 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


Okay, so this may not be the best series to watch with a headache. The dialogue is hard enough as it is, and that headache didn’t make things better. Still, at least I’m glad that Saiunkoku Monogatari seems to be back again. I’m really starting to get impatient with this series. I want to see Ryuuki develop already! I know it’s close, but it had already been close two freaking months ago. With all the hiatuses from this series, I’d really wish that this series would hurry up and get on with it.

This episode basically introduces the next mini-arc. Something seems to be going on in the Ran-province, and Shuurei manages to get permission from Ki Kouki to travel there and check it out. It seems to involve a guy named Son Chouchou, whose role I unfortunately couldn’t pick up. We also see more of the villain for this arc, who seems to have teamed up with the suspicious-looking noble whose name I can’t remember at the time.

Interestingly enough, Ryuuki too will be heading to te Ran-province, along with Shouka. I’m really glad that this guy finally gets some attention again. He was one of my favourite characters whenever he played a major role, so I’ve been a bit disappointed that he’s had so little attention for the past half year.

Now that I think about it, does anyone know how long the second season will last? AniDB says that it’ll end with episode 39, but I just don’t trust that website as an official source. And there is no way that this series will be resolved in six episodes. Of course, that could mean that there’s a third season, waiting to air in the upcoming spring-season. That would be awesome, though I really hope that the building-up of the past months will be worth it.

Posted on 12 January 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


Whoa, after the confusing previous episode, the current one totally makes up for it with probably some of the best scenes ever since the end of the Eigetsu-arc. We finally see Juusanhime and Shun together, and we finally learn a bit more about them. Shun’s original name was Shiba Jin, and he lived together with Juusanhime at one point, where she fell in love with him, even though the age-difference between the two was quite large. Then, at one point something happened that caused Jin to change his name, become a prisoner/delinquent/bandit/something and foresake the Ran-clan.

The woman who was with him was indeed Shusui, and only now we see how serious her headaches of the previous episodes were. I didn’t quite catch how he did it, but the fact remains that Shusui lost herself and tried to kill Juusanhime in this episode, if it wasn’t for Ensei, she’d be dead by now. And to think that Shuuei was right there as well, finding out that the woman he longed for tried to kill his own sister.

In the second half of the episode, Shuurei gets basically taken off the case of Juusanhime, because well, she rather failed to protect her. We also see Shuuei, who now really says farewell to Ryuuki. If I had to guess, then there were more things that happened in the past with him, and I guess that he just can’t keep on living like he did for the past two years. I assume that the future episodes will show us more about the guy’s past.

There were a few things I didn’t understand, though. Like, why was the prison with Tantan attacked? And what was the purpose of the match between Ran and Ryuuki?

Posted on 5 January 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


With episodes like this one, I’m glad that people like Impz can churn out reliable summaries. A lot of stuff happened in this episode, but it was also incredibly hard to understand with my limited level of Japanese.

Basically, from what I understood, this episode shows the death of one of the guys who’s after Juusanhime’s life. He’s killed by Shun, in front of Seiga and a whole number of guards. What Seiga was doing there, or what is exact role was in this whole matter, I have no idea of, though. We also get introduced to two new characters: Shun’s assistant (who is quite a good fighter), and a rather young head of the guard. He’ll probably have some kind of small role in the next couple of episode. We never know his name, but there has to be a reason for him to get a unique character-design.

Ensei also returns, when Shuurei runs into him in prison. It seems that he ended up there after he saved Juusanhime from her attackers back then. What’s also interesting is how Juusanhime’s assailants have the same mark on their forehead as Shun. Are they all members of some kind of clan or family, which rivals with the Ran-family, perhaps?

CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
SuperMario
Being said all that I will follow it for 1 more episode
SuperMario
And then that girl who passed away because of the reset. I feel my emotions drying up at that point. Tasteless. Heartless
SuperMario
Wanna say the same thing regarding Sagrada Reset as well. I have the feeling the show tries to sound smart that ultimately if I hear someone talks like this in real life, I would go punch his face. Manipulating the social worker by slitting your own wrist? WHAT? Asking a girl about her rules, then whenever she answers you give your own warped opinions on it to sound like you know it all? WHAT
Anonymous1016169
@Aidan: Lol, Sagrada reminds me of how I used to write. Pretentious, overly complex dialogue that nobody would use in real life unless they were trying too hard. It grits on my ears so much that I don't think I can keep watching it, especially because this is probably how it's going to be for the whole series.
Anonymous1016169
@Amagi: I feel your pain. I used to enjoy those types of shows, but I've found more and more since getting out of high school that they just make me want to take a nap. It doesn't help that they're everywhere. X.D
AidanAK47
God Sagrada Reset is frustrating. So many good ideas, all absolutely ruined by the dialogue and characters. If you just changed the dialogue a bit and made the characters emote more then this would be so very interesting. But they manage to drain the life out of the story.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, in most cases you can easily write off the ones not worth your time based on the summery. Occasional those kinds of show can turn out to be worth watching but it just doesn't happen often enough.
Amagi
Nothing against those types of anime in general, but it's just not aimed at me I guess. - I also should specify: school (semi)harem, not school alone. I enjoy Tsuki ga Kirei.
Amagi
I really love this season but I should stop testing the school- and shoujo stuff. It's almost never worth the time and it always bores me so much that I have to stop watching anime for a few hours.
Anonymous1016169
@Travlos: Why does a hobbyist artist care when someone critiques their art or a fanfic writer care about reader feedback? When you do something you enjoy, it's normal to want to improve and other people's opinions are important for that.
SuperMario
@Travlos: because 1) We still need to listen to what readers say to improve and 2) we're debating more about rating system, which I also feel the need of upgrading. btw, any shows that catch your interests so far this season?
Konstantinos Travlos
Why do you guys care about what someone thinks about your reviews? You are doing a good enough thing as is, and t is a hobby. Do your thing and do not lose time on this.
Anonymous1015915
I think I'm just gonna follow sukasuka and re:creators this season. Seem to of shown the most potential universally.
Anonymous1015442
Soy and almond milk are also available as alternatives for the lactose intolerant.
Anonymous1015442
From the manga it seems like it would translate well into an anime with the right production values so I think I'm going to try it. I was mostly concerned that they'd push the melodrama even more through the roof, haha. I did see some of the reviews on it here and they made me hopeful that it was fairly well-executed.And of course the milk can be chocolate. Just not vanilla, vanilla milk is yuck i
Lenlo
Its certainly making me happy I waited until the end of the season to binge it.
SuperMario
I'd have the milk as well... Need more milk to my life.
SuperMario
Hope Scum's Wish entertains you, Lenlo. ^^
Lenlo
I will say the sound design has been great for Scums Wish though I have not read the manga to see how it matches up
Lenlo
I dont think "enjoyed" is the right word for this kind of show, but I do know im going to finish it.

Also, can the milk be chocolate?
Anonymous1015350
@Lenlo: That's true, but I also feel like everyone here needs some milk. And I've been reading the Scum's Wish manga and can't decide if it'll be worth it to watch the anime.
Lenlo
Scums Wish, 4 episodes in, has been the perfect little dose of depression I crave from each anime season.
Lenlo
I have to say, its a pretty fun break from super srs anime discussion sometimes
Anonymous1014938
There's so much sass in this chatbox sometimes I can't even. :.D
AidanAK47
Also please note that if data gathering results do not support your hypothesis that there will be no refunds
AidanAK47
I will have you know my data gathering services are quite expensive and I don't operate until paid.
Total users: 36

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